Improving access to a substance abuse treatment center in California and supporting recovery are both important elements of International Overdose Awareness Day, which is an annual event that started in 2001. But what is International Overdose Awareness Day 2019?
Drug overdoses are one of the leading causes of accidental death worldwide, causing nearly 200,000 premature deaths annually. Overdoses are especially damaging in the United States, as Americans account for 25% of all fatal overdoses worldwide. Drug addiction and substance abuse disorders in the United States have led to drastic policy changes, including revisions of law that now require medical insurance companies to cover mental health and substance abuse disorders in the same manner that they cover medical treatments.
Substance abuse disorders, alcoholism, and addiction are chronic, incurable mental health diseases that cause you to compulsively abuse drugs and alcohol. You can continue abusing drugs and alcohol despite facing increasingly damaging consequences or having a strong desire to stop. Addiction is not a lack of willpower, but rather a progressive disease that changes your brain chemistry and pleasure and reward center.
Since drugs and alcohol are neurotransmitter inhibitors, they force your brain to release more neurotransmitters than it should. This sudden influx of neurotransmitters creates the pleasurable rush experienced during intoxication. Once the effects wear off, you experience a comedown because you now have a depletion of neurotransmitters. You can experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms until you use more, which makes it difficult to recover without the help of a substance abuse treatment center California offers.
Withdrawal symptoms can begin within hours of your last use and continue for several days. The intensity of your withdrawal symptoms depends on several factors, such as:
- What substances you are abusing
- How much you use
- How often you use
- The length you have been using
- Whether you have a co-occurring or comorbid condition
- Your physical health
The difficulty of detoxing and recovering from addiction without help makes the rate of relapsing high. If you begin using after maintaining a period of sobriety and abstinence, you are more likely to suffer a fatal overdose because of your diminished tolerance.
International Overdose Awareness Day
International Overdose Awareness Day 2019 will occur on August 31. It was started by SJ Finn in 2001 in Australia and has been run by Penington Institute since 2012. The goal is to raise awareness about the prevalence of fatal overdoses, the importance of overdose reversal medications and education about how to prevent overdoses.
Medications like Narcan, which reverses opiate overdoses, are important tools to limit the number of drug overdose-related fatalities. Increasing access to medications like Narcan can help reduce the number of fatal overdoses, especially because some areas may have difficulty affording or accessing Narcan.
Finding Help Today
International Overdose Awareness Day demonstrates the importance of receiving treatment if you are struggling with a substance abuse disorder. Addiction can not only hurt your finances, relationships, and career, but can also be fatal. Contact us today at 866.782.0247 to learn more about how our programs can help you achieve your recovery goals.